Exploration upside with is the theme for Garimpeiro’s 2023 BBQ Stoppers list this year, and notably, gold and lithium did not make the cut – but that didn’t surprise old mate Barry FitzGerald in the slightest.

Bellavista (ASX:BVR): Trading at 21c for a market cap of $14 million. 

Bellavista only joined the ASX in May with the objective of targeting large scale base metals deposits in the lightly explored northern margin of WA’s Edmund Basin.

It has been busy with the drill bit at its Brumby zinc-copper-silver prospect which is of the SEDEX-style which can deliver large to super-large deposits – and more assay results are on the way.

Devex (ASX:DEV): Trading at 28c for a market cap of $105 million. 

Everybody loves high-grade uranium hits and Devex delivered on that front in 2022 at its project surrounding the historic Nabarlek mine in the Northern Territory, with latest results including a 10.1m intersection grading 1.1%.

It’s the wet season in the Top End so drilling won’t resume until April but the company will fill the gap with a copper-gold drilling program in NSW’s Lachlan Foldbelt early in the new year.

Magmatic (ASX:MAG): Trading at 8.7c for a market cap of $26 million. 

Another one in the copper-gold hunt in NSW. The company reckons its Myall project near Narromine in central NSW has Tier 1 potential.

The company recently reported its third successive 400m-plus copper-gold intersections at the Corvette prospect within the broader Myall project area. Grades were typical of the large-scale copper-gold porphyries elsewhere in the region.

More assay results are due late in January.

QMines (ASX:QML): Trading at 15c for a market cap of $20 million. 

The company has been adding to its resource at the Mount Chalmers copper-gold project near Rockhampton in north-east Queensland regularly, and it currently stands at 144,700 tonnes of contained copper equivalent across a number of deposits – and there is more to come.

Stellar (ASX:SRZ): Trading at 1.2c for a market cap of $12 million. 

It’s Heemskirk tin project near Zeehan in Tasmania is the highest grade undeveloped tin project in Australia, or third in the world.

The tin price has come back from the crazy levels of earlier in the year but is supportive of new mine developments as the metal’s “green’’ credentials in a decarbonising world become better known, and as new mine developments needed to fill supply deficits remain thin on the ground.


Guy Le Page

RM Corporate Finance


Guy Le Page has his eye on cashed up Red Dirt Metals Ltd (ASX: RDT) who topped up the coffers with $50 million at 50 cents a few weeks ago (supplemented by a $5m Share Purchase Plan), with big plans for 2023 as it moves into lithium development at Mt Ida. 

Mt IDA comprises a 12.7Mt Mineral Resource @ 1.20% Li2O and is situated on a granted Mining Lease with heritage and environmental surveys already complete.

The majority of the resource is made up of the Sister Sam Resource (5.7mt@ 1.3% LiO2) and a large proportion of the gold resources (Inferred and Indicated Resources of 318,000 tonnes @ 13.8g/t gold) are likely to fall within the open pit.

So potentially, the gold could pay for the mining costs or they could be producing spodumene with a significant gold credit – which could be a low CAPEX, high operating margin cash cow moving into CY2024/2025 – providing lithium and gold prices hold up of course, Le Page says.

Plus, Red Dirt recently signed a Non-binding four-year MoU that contemplates future negotiation of a binding offtake agreement for up to 45,000tpa of Spodumene concentrate with Vietnamese based VinES Energy Solutions that is subject to the future production capacity at Mt Ida and securing funding for development.


Peter Warnes

Morningstar Head of Equity Research 


Warnes reckons these ASX energy, industrials and basic materials stocks are worth consideration for investors.

Warnes said the future looks bright for Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer Santos (ASX:STO) who’s production forecast is expected to double by 2028 while cash flow and earnings are at record levels.

“The absence of investor flows due to ESG concerns should not be underestimated,” he said.

“However, patient shareholders are likely to be rewarded as natural gas and liquified natural gas (LNG) remains a meaningful energy source for decades.”

Warnes also favours businesses in that are more than extracting resources like industrial play, maintenance service provider Ventia Services Group (ASX:VNT)

He said VNT is a classic retail investor stock and is capital light, defensive, and has a comparatively high fully franked dividend yield.

“We don’t think Ventia is being sufficiently credited for its exposure to increasing defence, housing, and renewable energy-related infrastructure spending, “ he said.

“Spending tailwinds from these three sectors will support its four business divisions including Infrastructure services and defence and social Infrastructure.”

And his final pick is agricultural  chemical company Nufarm (ASX:NUF), a major producer of crop-protection products, selling into all major world markets.

“With the world’s population pushing through the eight billion mark recently, reliable, and sustainable food supply becomes increasingly important,” he said.

“Such favourable megatrends are a tailwind for Nufarm, although weather-related rural risk cannot be ignored.

“However, longer term the company has positioned itself to be a meaningful player in the global crop protection and seeds market and strategic growth initiatives have raised its profile as an agricultural innovator.”



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